CARLOS Checa has officially announced at a press conference at Jerez that he will be retiring from racing. The 41-year-old made his racing debut 20 years ago in the GP 250 Championship, after which he went on to compete in the 500, MotoGP and Superbike Championships. Nolan helmets have also created a commemorative helmet for the Spaniard with special graphics denoting his 20th anniversary of competition. As well as this, the circuit of Jerez have also decided to dedicate part of its “Hall of Fame” in their new museum to Checa after his long career and SBK world title. Checa explained his retirement: “This year I am celebrating twenty years of racing at world championship level. I am extremely proud of this long sporting career, which has given me many special memories of all the teams I have worked with. I have had the opportunity to compete at the highest level, riding the best bikes and winning against the best rivals. “My aim has always been to discover my limits and to be able to take a close look at myself in order to continue to learn, grow and become a better rider and a better person. This is something that would not have possible without taking this path, full of risk, but which has also provided me with great challenges, adversaries and emotions; a long climb which culminated with my best season in 2011. “There is a moment that will always arrive in the life of a sportsman, the day on which you say enough is enough. This day has arrived for me today. It was not an easy decision, but one that I’ve thought long and hard about.” The 2011 World Superbike Champion added: “I am grateful to the entire motorcycle family, to those who make it possible for this world to exist and especially to those who have supported me and followed me from the start, for having given me the opportunity to pursue my dream and live a life that I wouldn’t have changed for any other. “I will now move on to discover new things about myself, a new and stimulating phase now begins for me in Ducati. It will take time to adapt but I am confident about my future and the satisfactions that it will surely continue to give me. “Thanks again to everyone for being here to support me on what is a very special day for me, definitely emotional but also unforgettable.” Checa has unfortunately been unable to finish his last season due to an accident in Istanbul last month resulting in a fractured pelvis which has meant he is not fit to take part in the final three rounds.